Posts

April 01, 2015

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1:51 AM | Food safety should apply everywhere: Community food, fundraisers and markets in NZ
I’ve listened to about all I can stand from the parents at the kid’s tuck shop and their food porn views of safety. I’ve said, I will help with any food safety issues, but otherwise I’m out. It’s like coaching … Continue reading →
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1:15 AM | Worm found in food, 7 suffer food poisoning in India
Seven people from Kuniamuthur, in Coimbatire, were admitted in the government hospital, Coimbatore, with complaints of food poisoning on Sunday. All seven of them say they had gone together to a chaat outlet where a worm was found in a … Continue reading →
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1:10 AM | No inquest for Bali food poisoning deaths
Many in Australia want to vacation in Bali. Me, not so much. Here’s another reason: An inquest won’t be held into the death of a mother and daughter duo who died from food poisoning while on holiday in Indonesia. Queensland … Continue reading →

March 31, 2015

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9:53 PM | Media Report: HPAI H5N2 In Montana Falcon
# 8989   Although I’ve not yet found an official source, The Missoulian is reporting that a captive gyrfalcon in Columbia Falls (Northwest Montana, very near the Canadian border) has died from HPAI H5N2 after being fed a wild duck. Montana becomes the 12th state to report the detection of HPAI H5 this winter. The bird that died was owned by a falconer who owns roughly 50 other birds, all of which will be tested for the virus.   First a brief excerpt from a […]
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8:34 PM | Food Safety 101: What is Campylobacter (and What Are We Doing About It)? Via The Abstract
I’m collaborating with Matt Shipman, public information officer at NC State University and curator of The Abstract, on a set of food safety-related posts from other NCSU folks as we roll toward WHO’s World Health Day on April 7– which is focused this year on … Continue reading →
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8:28 PM | Charlotte restaurant owner says cost of vaccinating food handlers against hepatitis A worth it
Risk-based decision making is the mantra in food safety. Picking out an intervention is a starts with a numbers game: calculating the prevalence of an action (like handwashing) and matching that with the likelihood of a pathogen in the system. This is the stuff that … Continue reading →
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6:53 PM | Qualitative Detection of Glucose in Urine
Glucose is not present in urine, in general because in the kidneys, glucose is reabsorbed from the filtrate of glomerulus, across the tubular epithelium of proximal tubule into the bloodstream. Therefore, normal glucose range in urine is 0 mg/dL, or rarely up to 15 mg/dL. If higher than normal levels of glucose (0-15 mg/dL) is found in urine, then it can be suspected as diabetes, pregnancy, or... CopyRight @ Bishnu Marasini @ Science Disdained Nepal. Please Don't reproduce any material from […]
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6:08 PM | The Ringworm Irradiators
Ringworm is one of the most common and widespread childhood maladies. Deceptive in its naming, ringworm is no parasite but rather a fairly mild, though atrociously itchy, fungal skin infection that affects 300 million people worldwide. An infection with the contagious Tinea capitis fungus is usually summarily dismissed by means of antifungal medications, but for decades prior to the discovery of such cures in the 1950s, infections with ringworm and other species of fungus were as intractable and
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6:08 PM | The Ringworm Irradiators
Ringworm is one of the most common and widespread childhood maladies. Deceptive in its naming, ringworm is no parasite but rather a fairly mild, though atrociously itchy, fungal skin infection that affects 300 million people worldwide. An infection with the contagious Tinea capitis fungus is usually summarily dismissed by means of antifungal medications, but for decades prior to the discovery of such cures in the 1950s, infections with ringworm and other species of fungus were as intractable and
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4:28 PM | This Month in Blastocystis Research - MAR 2015
"Show me your gut bacteria and I'll tell you if you're infected with Entamoeba"One of my 'partners in crime', science reporter Jop de Vrieze, made me aware of a study just published now by Elise R Morton and colleagues. The study appeared in bioRxiv—The Preprint Server for Biology, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The study is totally in line with one of the research foci in our lab.The paper is called 'Variation in rural African gut microbiomes is strongly shaped by parasitism […]
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2:16 PM | JVI: Investigating Dromedary Immune Serum As MERS-CoV Treatment
Credit FAO # 9889     We’ve a study, published  in the Journal of Virology (JVI), that uses the mouse model to explore the possibility of using camel antibodies as a treatment option for MERS-Cov infection.   As we discussed last year in MERS-CoV: The Long Road To A Pharmacological Solution, with no coronavirus-specific therapy in our arsenal, treatment for infection has basically been supportive (e.g. fluids, vasopressors, ventilators and/or ECMO, […]
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12:46 PM | Saudi MOH: 1 MERS Case In Najran
  # 9888  
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11:23 AM | CDC Study: Lives Saved By the Flu Vaccine
  # 9887   Given this year’s poor performance, and resultant bad press, from the seasonal flu shot it is understandable that the CDC, and other public health entities, would want to `rehabilitate’ the flu vaccine’s recently maligned reputation.  Particularly since - even in a `bad-match’ year - the flu vaccine can save lives.   The flu shot – while far from perfect – has an excellent safety profile, and most years provides a […]
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9:49 AM | Indonesian MOH Statement On 2 Recent H5N1 Cases
# 9886     Four days ago, in Watching Indonesia: Media Reports Two H5N1 Cases In Tangerang, we saw unconfirmed media reports of two recent (fatal) H5N1 cases in Tangerang, very near the capital Jakarta.   Although these reports continued over the weekend, today the Indonesian MOH has finally posted a statement on their Sehat Negeriku (Healthy Mine Own Country) website.   Between 2006 and 2008, Indonesia was the undisputed leader in human H5N1 infections (122 […]
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2:32 AM | Listeriosis and Produce: What’s the Connection? (via The Abstract)
I’m collaborating with Matt Shipman, public information officer at NC State University and curator of The Abstract, on a set of food safety-related posts from other NCSU folks as we roll toward WHO’s World Health Day on April 7– which is focused this year on … Continue reading →
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12:37 AM | Safety don’t have much to do with it: Food safety audits are just what retailers wanted
I’m not Dr. Doug. Kids call me coach, others call me asshole, all fine by me. Dr. Bob and Dr. Dan exist, and probably many others in the misguided belief they are enhancing the public understanding of science, when it’s … Continue reading →
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12:22 AM | "Speaking of Microbiota" - Important ideas in gut microbiota research - Emeran Mayer of UCLA
Emeran Mayer (left) at the Experimental Biology 2015 session, "Gut Microbes and the Brain"When discussing research about components of the diet that affect the gut microbiota and possibly affect disease risk:"The message I get from this is we have to look at how we eat and what we eat, and take care of it. Not that people eat what they want to eat, and then put drugs on top of it."- Emeran Mayer, UCLAMayer said this in an interview at the 2014 Harvard Probiotics Symposium. Read more of this […]

March 30, 2015

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9:02 PM | Want to keep supermarket customers? Don’t sell moldy food
As traditional grocery stores continue to lose market share and wonks advise adding bars and a fishmonger, the New South Wales Food Authority (that’s in Australia) has a better tip: don’t sell out-of-date and moldy food. Several Coles, Woolworths and … Continue reading →
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8:38 PM | Campylobacter testing in NZ
The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries said since performance targets for Campylobacter were introduced in 2008, setting contamination limits for poultry processors, the number of notified cases of people infected with campylobacter had halved. There had also been a … Continue reading →
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7:50 PM | Salmonella in snakes
For humans, Salmonella is always bad news. The bacterial pathogen causes paratyphoid fever, gastroenteritis and typhoid. But for snakes, the bacteria aren’t always bad news. Certain species of Salmonella are a natural part of the snake microbial collective. However, the … Continue reading →
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7:40 PM | At least 542 sickened in Cambodia, mainly schoolchildren
Ingredients thought to have caused a mass outbreak of food poisoning on Saturday at a Siem Reap province event organised by the NGO World Vision were seized yesterday and sent to Phnom Penh to undergo tests. A crowd of more … Continue reading →
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7:32 PM | Listeria and botulism potential in fish forces closure of California seafood company
At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a judge has ordered L.A. Star Seafood Company Inc., located in Los Angeles, and its owners, Sima and Sam Goldring, to halt operations until they demonstrate to the FDA that … Continue reading →
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6:49 PM | Biolumination II: Meet the artists! Helen Beech
Introducing Helen Beech, one of the artists who took part in Biolumination II.
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6:35 PM | Painful, kind of hilarious, typesetting error in a #PLOSOne paper from my lab - should I try to get it fixed?
Saw this tweet: @phylogenomics Funny/interesting typesetting trainwreck in equation 4 of PLOS PhyEco paper. English letters were replaced by Greek!— Michael Hall (@mikehall_dal) March 30, 2015So I went and found the paper. Wu D, Jospin G, Eisen JA (2013) Systematic Identification of Gene Families for Use as “Markers” for Phylogenetic and Phylogeny-Driven Ecological Studies of Bacteria and Archaea and Their Major Subgroups. PLoS ONE 8(10): e77033. […]
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6:30 PM | The Single Best Predictor of How Many Heartbeats You Will Experience
The single easiest way to increase the number of heartbeats you can expect to experience in your life is to move. Geography is a far better predictor, even within the United States, of your longevity than is any other variable. Much of modern of medicine is focused on getting those of us in developed countries a few more heartbeats (several magazines have recently run articles about the possibility of living to two hundred). But, the truth is that far more beats can be gained for […]
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6:16 PM | Gnarly Trees
Branches of the live oak (Quercus virginiana) loop and twist their way toward openings in the forest canopy. Many branches sag down to the ground before stretching back up again. These low branches help the oak survive in the hurricane-prone regions of the southeastern US. Short, wide trees resist strong winds better than tall, thin ones. Those curvy branches helped the USS Constitution stay afloat during the War of 1812. Live oak limbs were frequently used in ship building due to their natural […]
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5:55 PM | A Quail Of A Tale
26 pounds of confiscated raw Quail Eggs – Credit U.S. Customs   # 9885 Every once in awhile we hear a story about someone attempting to bring potentially dangerous food items or even live animals into this, or other countries, packed in their luggage. Sometimes there are attempts to conceal these items, and other times they are declared only for their owners to discover they are prohibited, and must be destroyed. A few examples over the years: In 2010, two men were […]
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4:28 PM | OIE/FAO Notifications Of Bird Flu In Italy & Romania
A busy avian flu season for Europe (prior to Mar. 13th)  – Credit Defra     # 9884   On Friday, in Media Reports: Bird Flu Detected In Romania & Italy, we looked at two  reported bird flu outbreaks in Europe. The Romanian outbreak – reportedly H5N1 – came on the heels of a similar announcement earlier last week from neighboring Bulgaria.   The outbreak in Italy wasn’t immediately identified, but it follows earlier outbreaks […]
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4:03 PM | BacterioFiles 208 - Discovering Dietary Dwellers
This episode: Dr. Angela Zivkovic discusses the microbes present in our food! Download Episode (21.6 MB, 23.6 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Archaea seem to be producing vitamin B12 in oceans Tree microbiomes differ between species like animals' Some bacteria can help plants form root nodules better (paper) Biofilms can be useful materials for different things, like sticking to steel Electricity from microbe metabolism could power waste treatment Post questions […]
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1:40 PM | FAO: Egypt’s H5N1 Case Count Continues To Climb
    # 9883   Although the Egyptian MOH remains largely silent on their H5N1 outbreak, and the Egyptian media continues to publish numbers from some alternate reality (this report today cites only 13 deaths for the year), we’re able to keep some semblance of track via updates from the World Health Organization, releases from the FAO EMPRES website, and the hard work of Sharon Sanders who curates the Egypt - 2015 WHO/MoH/Provincial Health Depts H5N1 Confirmed Case List. […]
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